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IS MONOGAMY OF GOD?
October 1997


WHAT IS MONOGAMY?
WHAT IS WRONG WITH MONOGAMY?
CAN ONE BE MONOGAMOUS AT THE SAME TIME PATRIARCHAL?
WHAT IS THE MODERN FORM OF MONOGAMY?
WHY IS "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY A CAUSE OF THE DECADENCE OF MARRIAGE AND SOCIETY?
THE ROLE REVERSAL
THE REALIZATION
THE FALLEN NATURE PROMOTED IN "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY
THE MID-LIFE CRISIS
THE SERIAL MONOGAMY OF "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY
NO WOMAN IS REALLY SECURE IN THE "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY CULTURE
CONCLUSION
LET ME EXHORT YOU
THERE REMAINS 2 VITAL TRUTHS TO THIS ISSUE

WHAT IS MONOGAMY?
It is the practice of 1 man having only 1 wife, and 1 woman having only 1 husband at any one time. Subsequent marriage after divorce or death of a spouse is defined as serial monogamy.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH MONOGAMY?
There is nothing wrong with monogamy itself. Like celibacy and polygamy, it is acceptable before God. Certain of our founding fathers, like Joseph, were monogamous and God had also highly exalted them for His work. Monogamy is not in anyway less holy than celibacy, but rather, to each according to his calling.

CAN ONE BE MONOGAMOUS AT THE SAME TIME PATRIARCHAL?
Yes, like some of our monogamous patriarchs, Isaac and Joseph, we can. Like I said, there is nothing wrong in monogamy itself. As for us Christians, whatever we do, we should do it unto the Lord, which means that God should be exalted and glorified also in our marriages. For Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart and soul, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We cannot fulfill them without being patriarchal like our forefathers. There is however something very unhealthy with our modern day form and practice of monogamy that constantly threatens the patriarchal ways of God. This is where we have departed from God’s principles of marriage and God’s ordained form of monogamy. This is the source of marital and social problems and disasters. This is where untruths and deception lie.

WHAT IS THE MODERN FORM OF MONOGAMY?
Modern Christianity and modern affluent societies insist that all marriages should be strictly monogamous. As long as both, the man and woman are still alive and remained married to each other, they are to keep themselves exclusively (especially sexually) for only one another. The inclusion of another wife will not and should not be tolerated, and if so act upon, will necessitate a divorce of the earlier marriage. Whatever constitutes a valid divorce, which varies with different people of different culture and different religious convictions, the rule here is strictly 1 man with 1 woman and no more. Otherwise it would be deemed as anything ranging from marriage failure, infidelity, to sin, shame, evil, everything, except anything good or honorable. I call this modern notion of monogamy the "should-be monogamy" form of marriage where monogamy is considered the only acceptable form. This therefore results in an anti-polygamy sentiment that is dominant in affluent societies and the modern Church. But this is where the root of the decadence of our modern marriage institution and its ill effects are. One can be monogamous and be patriarchal, but one cannot be "should-be monogamous" and be patriarchal (Kingdom-principled). Let me proceed on, and it will be clear.

WHY IS "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY A CAUSE OF THE DECADENCE OF MARRIAGE AND SOCIETY?
Briefly, the cause of marital and societal decadence is inherent in the philosophy and practice of modern "should-be" monogamy which creates and promotes the sentiment that there must be only one wife at any one time and that she must be exclusive. That simple. There can be no other, for she has exclusive possession of her husband and this exclusive possession of him inherently and subtly gives her the right into almost every aspect of his life, even to possess him from his other close ones, including the in-laws, close friends, and almost anything. She inevitably possesses him from what he may have to do for his God and from his rightful standing before Him. Whether if all these are driven by her fear, insecurity, selfishness, bondage or anything else, it’s immaterial. In the name of the love that is due to her, in the name of having to be sensitive to her needs, happiness and feelings, she is to be appeased before anything else can go smoothly. Her needs, desires, fancy, feelings, likes and dislikes, thus her consent and the consideration of her becomes more important than God or the needs of His Kingdom.

As long as she remains unhappy about anything that he has to do, or unconvinced about the way he does it, he remains unrested, crippled and imprisoned, for this is the way he is taught by the preacher and the culture to love his wife as such a "good" husband. But subtly, she has become an idol, if not the god of his life – the ultimate determining factor, the final influence and actual decision-maker. I am not saying that women seek to be evil, to be possessive or to replace God. What I am saying is that this sentiment is promoted and endorsed in the deceived "should-be" monogamy theology that grooms and empowers her to be so. I do not blame the woman as much as I would blame the weak woman-beholden man who idolizes her to be so. Yet the more to be blamed is the man-fearing Pharisee who stands at the altar, and in the name of God, promotes this sentiment by declaring this pagan Roman originated "should-be" monogamy as holiness and as the only scriptural form of marriage without thoroughly searching the scriptures!

By this I say that it is impossible for modern theology to produce men of God like Abraham who gave his son to God without first consulting Sarah. Even if he had (as one might contend), which man as such, if he had done so against his wife’s wishes, would be vindicated by modern theology to be godly? No, for in most cases, he will be judged as an irresponsible and insensitive husband and father. All such kind of men would be branded as unscrupulous and unscriptural. But I still contend that even if Abraham had informed or discussed with Sarah, he was not seeking her consent or approval. It would be wrong and irresponsible to impose upon her to make this very difficult decision with him! Only a weak man would do that.

But have we not been told all the time not to act on anything significant until she is consulted and her consent given? I am not saying that it is wrong to inform or discuss with her. I am saying it is wrong that she must always be consulted or be appeased first. Did I use the word "consult"? Yes, that’s what men have always been taught by "should-be" monogamy theology, to consult and to appease rather than to discuss and take responsibility as the final decision maker and head of the house. And I therefore conclude that the "should-be" monogamy theology cannot produce patriarchal men who seek to please God and heed His voice before that of their wives’. Not because the women are the cause, but rather they are taught and groomed by this "should-be" monogamy theology to be so. Be patient. Let me proceed further and make it clearer.

THE ROLE REVERSAL
Let me continue, and further paint a typical scenario that is common in the "should-be" monogamous culture. Because it is taught that we must love our wives, to win their heart and willingness and for peace and harmony in the home and marriage, we should seek their consent and approval in all matters. Whether it’s out of the need to please above any other things or it’s out of an inability to carry manly responsibilities, this act cause her to assume more responsibilities. And whether out of necessity or not, she very often ends up assuming authority and ultimately playing the major part in decision-making. All this eventually necessitates equal status, equal say and equal power in all things. The union becomes an unnatural, unwieldy body with 2 heads and is subtly expressed in an innocent loving term, "my the other half" or "she is the neck that turns the head". All these demand a sharing and relinquishing of the man’s responsibility and authority as head. Not that women should have absolutely no responsibility and authority, but the marriage is no longer a scriptural God-ordained relationship of head and body, but one of equal partners, or one dominated by a woman figure that an irresponsible or weak man may secretly enjoy. Whatever each case may be, it is something that all men will eventually be frustrated with, having lost the manliness given by God and such arrangement is a sure breeding ground for hurts and marital disasters. This is anti-patriarchy and anti-Kingdom, thus anti-God. Yet all these seem good in the beginning, with no definable roles but a lot of giving and sharing with one another. Romantic love is blind, but not for long.

THE REALIZATION
As time passes, when the "honeymoon" is over and the search for true identity and true fulfillment begins, differing views and wrong role-play become an issue, and many times resulting in severe conflicts. The more she has to assume responsibilities and tasks beyond that which is ordained of a woman, the more frustrated, unfulfilled, insecure and empty she becomes. So the more desperately she possesses and controls her man. The more he gives in and let go, either because of irresponsibility or the need to appease her, the more responsibility she has to assume, and the more bitter and frustrated she becomes. This resentment or simmering anger will be reflected in her disposition towards him. Until both begin to question the reason to stay married to each other. They no longer appeal to one another. He feels imprisoned and robbed and she feels exploited. The vicious cycle continues, until love and bliss are turned into suppressed hurts and bitterness or else hate and feuds. These are the inevitable results.

THE FALLEN NATURE PROMOTED IN "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY
Is this the kind that God intends marriage to be? No, of course not. Is this entirely her fault? No, but rather more of his fault. He has given away his God-ordained manhood. The failure to give her manly firmness makes her feel insecure. The failure to assume responsibility makes her feel unloved. But does he love her? Yes, he truly does. He fails not because he does not love her, but because he is roman-tic and has made her the center of his life. He is not patriarchal, for God's Kingdom is not the priority, but she is. In love, there is an inherent desire to see her pleased and happy, but romantic self-love would idolize her and give her all she wants, for in the process, she reciprocates with her love, thus he finds her pleasing and peaceable, and is gratified by her. The more she is pleased and idolized, the more she will gratify him. The reverse is also true, that when she is no longer the priority, the relationship will become contentious and it will no longer be a loving one. This is pagan Romanism, the worship of roman-tic love where this love is exalted above all other things for the relationship to be endearing. To be romantic, anything else and everything else must be secondary. The more romantic, the more exclusive she must be. It is nothing but self-centeredness. And this of course, all truly spiritual people know is of the devil! It is the worship of the love goddess. But generally, people easily see this in others and not in themselves.

THE MID-LIFE CRISIS
This man-woman love worship is a temptation and a pitfall common to all marriages since Adam, no matter in what form. But it is specially justified and promoted in the exclusivity of "should-be" monogamy, where she has to be the only one to be exclusively pleased above anybody and anything else. That’s the sentiment of being romantic and special. But this itself becomes an abuse of woman, for she is encouraged to be idolized, self-centered and possessive, and pampered into vanity and worthlessness. For in becoming such a woman, she soon becomes boring, possessive and demanding, and everything pleasurable about her quickly vanish. And in many cases, she becomes an undesirable element that is to be discarded for he not only finds no more pleasure in pleasing her, he finds her a load and a burden, while she is equally frustrated with him for being irresponsible and weak. And both will begin to wonder what actually went wrong. This is termed "marital crisis" that commonly surfaces in mid-life, where each instinctively begins to take stock of what they have actually achieved in such a self-centered and worthless life. The imprisoned man (or even the woman) if desperate enough, will summon his last strength and grasp his last chance to break the bondage or suppression to start a new life if he has the means and the courage to do so. He needs to find a better meaning and purpose in life, which will only be found in Kingdom-principled Patriarchy. Hopefully, he will find it this time, but it is virtually non-existent in the "should-be" monogamy world.

THE SERIAL MONOGAMY OF "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY
The next evil of "should-be" monogamy is to license him with a divorce, for the "should-be" monogamy culture will not allow him to keep the first wife if he wills to take on another - a provision and a way out. Thus it now suits him to discard the old worn garment for a new and pleasing one. All other related issues, hurts and conflicts now freely surface and become good reasons to sanction a divorce. All these are but the by-products of an erroneous philosophy and theology that trap and imprison the society that accepts and worships it. The man now delights in his new love, new bliss and new hope only to see the next vicious cycle repeating itself again. The new one is again adored and idolized into a spoilt toy fitted for the garbage. This is a by-product of the "should-be" monogamy culture, which is a kind of serial monogamy that is not acceptable by God.

NO WOMAN IS REALLY SECURE IN THE "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY CULTURE
For good or bad reasons (mostly bad), there are more divorces, therefore more forsaken women and children in monogamous society than in any other. This is the by-product of the "should-be" monogamy. It is also the result of the law of sowing and reaping. The monogamous woman who rejects the other woman ends up being replaced by the other woman. In this respect, it is not wrong to assume that no woman in the "should-be" monogamous culture can truly feel secure. Instead of living in love and assurance, they live in insecurity, having to constantly cling to, watch and guard their men against their own kind – the other women. Interestingly, women in patriarchal polygamous marriages avert this pitfall by embracing the very seeming disadvantage of having to share and consider for one another.

Every disposed wife becomes another good case against men’s abuse of women, thus giving impetus to the feminism movement for women to defend themselves. But the marital failures are due to the vanity of her self, abuses of man’s self love, and both are not just condoned but exalted by wayward pagan "should-be" monogamy theology as holiness and righteousness. Sad to say but true, Biblical Patriarchy and Patriarchal Polygamy which seek to protect and provide for women are the ones that get the blame all the time.

CONCLUSION:

MONOGAMY IS OF GOD, BUT "SHOULD-BE" MONOGAMY AS THE ONLY RIGHT FORM OF MARRIAGE IS NOT OF GOD BUT OF PAGAN ROMAN-TIC TEACHINGS THAT IS DESTROYING THE WORLD AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD.


LET ME EXHORT YOU

If a man can lay down his life for others, he is patriarchal. If he is not patriarchal, he will live for himself. If he lives for himself, he will not live for you. So don’t be fooled by Roman-tic love. If a person is incapable of love and consideration for others, he will ultimately not love you more than he loves himself. For even if he appears to be so, he is doing it only for himself, which is still self-love. So don't be fooled. For if he is capable of love and consideration for others, he is capable of truly loving you. That’s why Jesus said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mat 6:33)

PATRIARCHY IS IN CHRIST & CHRIST IS IN PATRIARCHY

THERE REMAINS 2 VITAL TRUTHS TO THIS ISSUE:

There are those who are called to monogamy while others are called to polygamy or celibacy. None should in any way discriminate or exalt itself against the others. Monogamy is not in anyway more superior or holier than polygamy just as celibacy is to monogamy. The answer is be poly-positive and receive others just as you want others to receive you.

Whatever form you take or are convinced of as best for yourself, be patriarchal in that God and his Kingdom must be in first priority in all things in your life. So if you are called to be monogamous, stay monogamous and be patriarchally monogamous, by putting God and His Kingdom first before your wife and God’s blessings shall be great upon you. The more you lose her because of God, the more you will gain her. It’s not the form, but patriarchy that sets one apart from the others.

Finally, there is a great need to turn away from the pagan theology of "should-be" monogamy for all people and to return to God’s forms and understanding of marriages as demonstrated by the Biblical fathers. The Bible is to be seen as one Word, not a book with 2 separate portions of 2 different cultures. There can be some cultural and societal differences from time to time, but the truth of God remains the same throughout the ages. He is timeless and He is never outdated, and the fundamental needs of man never change, for he forever remains as man. Children, let your hearts be turned to the fathers, lest God come and strike your land with a curse (Mal 4:6).

Brethren, be blessed in the Lord. Amen

In Christ's Name,
Israel CS Lim

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Copyright Israel CS Lim, 1997 

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